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It was a big deal back in 2007 when Francisco Javier Arrellano-Felix was sentenced to life in prison.
In 2014, the judge reduced it to 23.5 years. Everything was sealed until this week when the Judge released a 9 page order denying a request by Arellano-Felix's lawyer to reduce it more, saying the government was too stingy with its 40% reduction for cooperation.
Arellano-Felix has been held in severe conditions and 23 hours a day lockdown for most of the time, although he's flown around the country and to Mexico with the DEA to cooperate. The Judge acknowledges the harsh conditions, but quotes a line from a Merle Haggard song, "And the joint [is] a bad place to be." [More...]
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Matthew Apperson has been charged with attempted murder in Florida for shooting at George Zimmerman while Zimmerman was driving.
Today, the State Attorney's Office in Sanford filed three charges against Apperson: attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle.
Apperson was in a mental hospital weeks before the shooting. He was fixated on Zimmerman, according to police. Zimmerman sustained minor injuries from flying glass and debris.
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New Attorney General Loretta Lynch today announced a major bust: 200 people nationwide have been charged with fraudulently billing medicare and other related crimes.
The total amount of alleged fraud exceeds $700 million. 46 of those charged are doctors and health care professionals. Lynch says it's the largest health care fraud case in DOJ history.
The suspects are accused of scams ranging from identity theft to money laundering and conspiracy to commit health-care fraud. Dozens of those arrested were charged with defrauding the Medicare prescription-drug program, officials said.
James Comey said the FBI has 2,700 pending health care fraud investigations.
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Dominique Strauss-Kahn was acquitted of aggravated procurement charges today in France.
Although using prostitutes is not illegal in France, assisting in supplying them is illegal and regarded as procuring. Mr Strauss-Kahn had been accused of playing a pivotal role in facilitating the orgies.
The verdict brings to a close four years of legal proceedings against Mr Strauss-Kahn, including charges of attempted rape which were later dropped in 2012.
It's the correct decision legally. [more..]
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The XXXII International Conference for Drug Control in Cartagena, Colombia, has wrapped up. Tomás Zerón, the head of the Mexico Attorney General's Criminal Investigation Agency, who attended the conference, tells Proceso (use google translate) that there are only two drug cartels and three drug lords left in Mexico: Sinaloa, led by Ismael Zambada-Garcia and Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, and CJNG (Jalisco New Generation)led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes. He said Sinaloa deals primarily in cocaine, while CJNG concentrates on meth. He also said Zambada-Garcia doesn't seem too active these days.
Zerón said the Zetas disintegrated, and the Gulf Cartel turned to kidnapping and extortion instead of drugs because it lacks the financing and contacts to obtain drugs. According to Zerón, the Juarez, Tijuana, Beltran Leyva and Knights of Templar cartels have dismantled, due to the death or detention of their leaders (more here), and now are operating as independent cells. [More...]
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Former House speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded not guilty today in federal court in Chicago.
After days of silence, J. Dennis Hastert, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he illegally structured bank withdrawals and lied to the authorities about millions of dollars he had promised to pay someone for misconduct that occurred decades ago
...Two people briefed on the evidence uncovered in an F.B.I. investigation have said that Mr. Hastert, who once taught and coached wrestling in suburban Yorkville, Ill., was paying a former student not to say publicly that Mr. Hastert had sexually abused him decades ago.
Hastert was released on bond.
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Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison on August 21. He will have served 10 months of his 5 year sentence.
South African sentencing guidelines that say non-dangerous prisoners should spend only one-sixth of a custodial sentence behind bars.
He will serve the remainder of his sentence on home detention. He also faces the state's appeal of the dismissal of the murder count against him in November.
He has been serving his sentence in the hospital wing of the prison.
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The Baltimore prosecutor in the Freddie Gray case wants to withhold the autopsy report.
Feel free to discuss all aspects of the Freddie Gray case here, but keep in mind, race-baiting and racially charged comments will be deleted.
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Despite a ruling by a federal judge in Virginia several months ago holding that Kim Dotcom cannot defend against the forfeiture of his assets because of the fugitive disentitlement doctrine, a New Zealand Court this week has granted DotCom's request for an Order prohibiting the Crown in New Zealand from proceeding to register the subsequent U.S. default forfeiture judgments against the assets in NZ. The opinion is here.
It's all pretty complicated, but in a nutshell: [More...]
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Dias Kadyrbayev, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friend who removed his computer and backpack from his dorm room was sentenced to six years in prison today for his guilty pleas to obstructing the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing.
The plea agreement called for a sentence of up to 7 years. All sides agreed the sentencing guidelines' terrorism enhancement, applicable to the obstruction charges, was too harsh. The judge said "This guideline doesn't serve the purposes of sentencing." [More...]
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Swiss police have arrested several FIFA officials and sports marketing executives on a U.S. grand jury indictment alleging corruption and bribery related charges. They will be extradited the the U.S. to face trial. The head honcho, Sepp Blatter, was not charged.
The charges, backed by an F.B.I. investigation, allege widespread corruption in FIFA over the past two decades, involving bids for World Cups as well as marketing and broadcast deals, according to three law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the case.
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For the most part, the indictments closely track the charges the Baltimore prosecutor announced in a May 1 press conference. (ABC2’s Christian Schaffer has the full charges here.) In particular, the second-degree depraved-heart murder charge against Officer Caesar Goodson, the most serious of the charges, remains. All six officers were also indicted for reckless endangerment, which was not on the original charge sheet. The big change: None of the officers was indicted for false imprisonment.
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Jose Rodrigo Arechiga-Gamboa, aka "El Chino Antrax", the young, flashy alleged "sicario" for Sinaloa (Zambada faction) and logistics coordinator (El Chapo Guzman), pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in San Diego to conspiracy to import more than 5 kilos of cocaine and more than 1000 pounds of marijuana. He also agreed to forfeit $1 million.
His plea agreement is not publicly available on PACER, but that's routine for San Diego, so it does not necessarily mean he cooperated. There's nothing to indicate it is sealed.
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Police in Waco have arrested 192 people in yesterday's biker killings at the Twin Peaks Restaurant.
Apparently, 165 - 175 of them are being charged with organized crime. Bond for those who have appeared in court has been set at $1 million.
Some of those killed were struck by law enforcement bullets.
The two groups involved were the Bandidos and the Cossacks.
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Here's a new thread for the continuing discussion of the Freddie Gray case.
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